NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Lois Nelson Andrews, a cultural icon of New Orleans who has led countless processions as Grand Marshal of jazz funerals and second-line parades, has passed away. She was 69 years old.
Andrews, known citywide as the “Mother of Music,” died of lung cancer on November 10.
Andrews’ home and workplace have become cultural grounds for a whole generation of marching band musicians. Today, many bands that form the backbone of the city’s music community exist through his efforts, including the Rebirth Brass Band, New Birth Brass Band, Lil Rascals Brass Band, Soul Rebels Brass Band, the Tremé Brass Band and the Chosen Few Brass Band. .
Andrews also helped reignite the city’s nearly-vanished Baby Doll tradition by donning a satin dress her friend, Merline Kimble, had kept from her childhood, The Times Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported.
“Come on, Merline, we’ll get the dolls back,” Andrews told her. In the 1990s, Andrews and Kimble launched the Gold Digger baby dolls.
The original Baby Dolls were groups of black women and some men in the early Jim Crow era who adopted the New Orleans street mask tradition as a unique form of fun and entertainment. self-expression, according to the Louisiana State Museum website.
Andrews also co-founded the Lady Money Wasters Social Aid and Pleasure Club in 1975 and the Dumaine Street Gang in the 1990s.
“She’s always been in the culture,” Kimble said. “She was a carrier of culture, pure and simple.”
The funeral was held at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on Saturday, followed by a traditional jazz parade. Friends and family celebrated and remembered her on Friday with a musical tribute at Charbonnet Labat Funeral Home.
Andrews was passionate about all things New Orleans.
“She believed in this community, she was steadfast in everything she loved. Everything she loved, she was absolutely in it, ”Judge Ranord Darensburg, a family friend, reported WGNO-TV.
“His legacy will be a great contribution, not only to New Orleans, but to the world. She gave birth to some of the most famous, beautiful and talented musicians in this city, ”he said.
“She carried the culture and that is what is most important, that she is a cultural icon, she carries that culture and that is what it is about,” said Gaynielle Neville, a friend of the family.
Andrews grew up in a house full of music. Her father was musician Jessie Hill, best known for the 1960 hit song “Ooh Poo Pah Doo”. Her mother, Dorothy Mae Nelson Hill, is the daughter of guitarist Walter Nelson Sr., who performed with jazz clarinetist Alphonse Picou. His uncle, guitarist Walter “Papoose” Nelson Jr., performed with Fats Domino. Another uncle, guitarist Lawrence “Prince La La” Nelson, is known for the song “She Put the Hurt on Me”.
The eldest daughter of 12 children, Andrews is survived by nine siblings: Lionel, Linda and Sandra Nelson; Cynthia, Jessie Lee, Eric, Dionne Hill; Dorothy Hill-Martin and Judy Hill-Andrews. She was married to James Andrews Jr. for 45 years and was the mother of seven children: James “12” Andrews III, Bruce “Fot” Nelson, Terry Nelson, Temeca Andrews, the late Darnell “D-boy” Andrews, Troy “Trombone Shorty ”Andrews, and Deja Andrews. She had 10 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
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